Sunday, August 11, 2013

Mortality atlas shows Spain's north-south inequality

There are not many better ways to show the crude inequality of a country than in a mortality atlas: a map that shows at a glance where and how people die.

The most complete atlas of mortality to date in Spain is heartbreaking. Data and 200 maps showing the mortality of men and women between 1984 and 2004 show that in southern Spain premature death from all causes and for both sexes is higher than in the north.

The atlas, made by 25 researchers led by Joan Benach and Jose Miguel Martinez, professors at the University Pompeu Fabra, reveals that in the case of men, higher mortality is concentrated in the southwest, with cancer of the trachea, bladder disease and lung cancer as most common.

"The atlas does not explain the causes of mortality," says Joan Benach. The maps, however, do point to where the problems to investigate are, as when an earlier work showed an increased risk of dying from several types of cancer in coal mining towns [including those in Asturias where I recently visited to learn and write about.]

[My translation from source in Castellano here.]

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